Shares in UK Gas and Oil (Ukog) fell five per cent to 1.35p per share in early afternoon trade, despite the company securing an extension to planning permission for its Markwells Wood well in West Sussex.
Ukog said the South Downs National Park Authority had agreed to extend planning permission for the well site until the end of September 2016.
The company is currently working on a field development plan for Markwells Wood, for submission to the Oil and Gas Authority, moving the licence from its current exploration phase into an 18-year production period.
Ukog shares exploded in April after it announced a potentially major oil find at its Horse Hill site near Gatwick. But subsequent statements – such as revisions of the estimates as well as acknowledgements that the oil may never be retrieved – have cast doubts on this.
"This is a key step to enable the company to move forward with its plan to develop this UK onshore oil field to add further oil production to its portfolio," Stephen Sanderson, Ukog's chairman, said.
"In order to obtain the necessary regulatory consents to proceed with the development, we will now finalise a field development plan and compile and submit a new planning application to the South Downs National Park Authority."
"The Markwells Wood field development, if permitted, is planned in a series of phases, commencing with the proposed MW-1 sidetrack development well."
"We will utilise the findings of our recently published Weald conceptual development studies to ensure that any production facilities have a low environmental impact and minimal footprint that respects the rural beauty and way of life of the local area."